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Bryan Stevenson Books In Order

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Bryan Stevenson is a literary fiction author best known as the executive director and founder of a human rights organization known as the “Equal Justice Initiative.” Since the organization was founded, it has won many legal challenges and has been involved in aiding children indicted as adults, challenging the abuse of the mentally ill, the imprisoned, exonerating innocent death row convicts, and eradicating prejudicial and extreme prison sentences. Stevenson is a brilliant lawyer who has won many cases at the US Supreme Court including a landmark ruling in 2012 that made it illegal to give life imprisonment without parole to anyone below the age of seventeen. In 2019, he argued and won a case to protect condemned men who had dementia. Bryan and his legal team have been responsible for multiple reliefs, reversals, and release from prison of more than a hundred prisoners that were on death row or had been wrongly convicted. He has also won relief for many others that had been unjustly sentenced or been wrongly convicted. He wrote his debut novel “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” in 2014. The novel is set to be made into a film by the name “Just Mercy.”

Stevenson went to Harvard and graduated in 1985. He also has a JD from the Kennedy School of Law and a master’s in public policy form the School of Government. In 1998 he became a professor at the New York University School of Law. Stevenson has been working as an attorney for death row prisoners and capital defendants in the American south starting right from his graduation in 1985. During that time, he worked with the Southern Center for Human Rights as a staff attorney in Georgia. Starting in 1989 he founded and became the executive director of a nonprofit and private law organization named the “Equal Justice Initiative.” His organization works towards criminal justice reform in the context of human rights and social justice in the US. The organization has made a name for itself for litigating on the behalf of poor people that do not have appropriate representation, persons unjustly charged or imprisoned, juvenile offenders, convicted prisoners and persons the organization believes were convicted due to prosecutorial transgression or racial prejudice.

Bryan has set up many new initiatives to tackle discrimination and poverty to challenge inequality in the US. He was one of the people that founded two critically acclaimed sites that promote culture in the “National Memorial for Justice and Peace” and the “Legacy Museum.” These landmark organizations record the history of racial segregation lynching, slavery, and how these are all connected to present-day issues of racial prejudice and mass imprisonment. For his work, he has earned a lot of recognition including the American Civil Liberties Union by the National Medal of Liberty, The American Bar Association’s ABA Medal, and the Genius Prize, which is one of the most prestigious prizes that is awarded by the MacArthur Foundation. Stevenson has also got more than forty honorary degrees from prestigious universities including Oxford University, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania Princeton, and Yale. His debut novel “Just Mercy” made the “Time Magazine’s” 10 Best Non-Fiction works in 2014. He has also been the recipient of several honors including the NAACP Image Award in 2015 and the Carnegie Medal for best nonfiction work in 2015.

“Just Mercy” the debut novel by Bryan Stevenson is the story of Walter McMillian, an innocent black man that was framed by the District Attorney and the Sheriff. He had been convicted in front of a jury, accused of the murder of a dry cleaner’s shop clerk. The DA and the Sheriff had ignored all evidence that could have shown he could not be guilty. He is now on death row due to manufactured evidence that he has no way of rebutting. Incredibly, while there was no such provision, the Sheriff had managed to get McMillian transferred to death row even before he was charged in the Alabama court system. For more than six years, he lived a life of despair in the penitentiary system. While the story is set in the county and home town of Harper Lee which was made famous from the popular novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” it is more realistic. Bryan Stevenson collects the evidence, unearths the political machinations and chicanery that resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of McMillian. He writes Walter McMillian the lead protagonist as a man that inspires empathy that you want to cheer for him. Stevenson has won many victories but in the pages of the story, he does not seem to celebrate winning cases or exonerating the innocent. Rather, he has a fit of bubbling anger when he sees the injustices committed against people such as McMillian.

“A Perilous Path” by Bryan Stevenson provides a frank conversation on the American dilemma in the age of increasing awareness on issues of racism. The novel brings together a star professor, a death penalty lawyer, a director of the Legal Defense Fund at the NAACP, a bestselling author, and an ex-attorney general of the US who come together for a candid talk on topics the nation needs to hear. They draw on their collective experiences and personal histories rising from oppression and poverty as well as their work in civil rights to talk about how critical it is to reclaim the racial narrative. As leading lights in the fight for racial justice, they understand all about injustice which they set out and detail in this work. They cover a variety of topics including the lawyers as heroes, the equality dividend, commonality of pain, and how black people deserve recognition for helping the United States be seen as a country of acceptance and diversity. The novel is a brilliant sequel to Bryan’s debut novel “Just Mercy.” Lynch who has worked in the Justice Department and Ifill who is a leading light in the fight for civil rights in the United States makes a great case for a new discussion on issues of inequality and race relations. It is a novel that speaks clearly and loudly to all persons concerned with the perpetual fault lines in American society.

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